My first glimpse of the backside of Governor’s Peak (center right near the yellow cliff bands is a false summit)
With daytime highs still around 110 here in Phoenix (Hell Portal, AZ), you’d think I was nuts to be getting the itch for peakbagging season… but dewpoints and nighttime temperatures here in the desert are finally starting to creep downward. I’ve already begun to mentally prepare for this coming season.
So with that said, I thought I’d highlight some of my favorite peaks that I bagged last season. And Governor’s Peak was certainly one of them.
I began my hike by parking along Castle Hot Springs Rd. which at this point is unpaved and fairly graded. You will have to cross a dry creek bed which the road goes over but unless it’s wet you should be fine. I parked basically between Casa Rosa (a group of houses where desert rats live) and the actual Castle Hot Springs Resort. Believe it or not, this resort which in the 1930s SURELY was in the middle of nowhere, and currently is only slightly less in the middle of nowhere, entertained guests such as the Rockefellers. Of note is that this is where John F. Kennedy was taken to recuperate from his wounds on PT-109 in World War II.
Castle Hot Springs Resort
The hike itself (route below) is fairly nondescript except the views when you enter Four Tanks Canyon are pretty epic.
Views on the way up just above Four Tanks Canyon
1951 ft AEG (Accumulated Elevation Gain)
1358 ft of actual gain
3:28 elapsed time
Trailhead coordinates: 33.965, -112.343
Vehicle needed: Passenger car would be OK
Water sources: none (possible that water could be in Four Tanks Canyon, but for a 3.5 hour hike I’d just take 2-3L)
Nearby peaks to bag: Salvation Peak is approximately .5 miles NE but much more difficult and getting to it from Governor’s would be interesting to say the least.